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Re: 02-ac-shell-func.patch

From: Paolo Bonzini
Subject: Re: 02-ac-shell-func.patch
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 15:14:46 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.5) Gecko/20031020 Debian/1.5-1

> I guess we need to branch now :(

Branching is not forking, I don't see anything bad in branching while I would not be so crazy as to fork Autoconf! As I see it, are three possibilities:

1) Do you want to release a 2.60 just for Automake 1.8? If so, doing a branch for experimental features would be the best solution.

2) Do you think that these changes would imply an Autoconf 3? If so, you should make a clear decision on where to stop with Autoconf 2.5x, branch, and develop Autoconf 3 on mainline. A major release is hard because much more packages use Autoconf than at the time of Autoconf 2, of course. But: - the improved speed that shell functions give (it's proved, not theoretic) may make the hypotetic Autoconf 3 more palatable (or at least as palatable) than 2.50 was
- it is possible to take it very calmly
- it is possible to make *usability* improvements that are not feasible with the current framework (such as specializations)
- ...

3) Do you want to release a 2.60 for m4 2.0? If so, Gary recently wrote on the libtool mailing list that you'll have to wait much before m4 stabilizes on all the OSes on which Autoconf should run. Modules are still one of the most poorly tested features in libtool, as useful as they are. In this case, I'd not go with a branch at all, or do the same as 2) above.

Honestly, I do not understand your position very much. I firmly believe you were right in exposing quoting errors in Autoconf 2.50; and I know that you also were much against the changes in Bison to handle omissions in the infamous trailing semicolon. But now it looks like you want Autoconf to freeze and fear any improvement to it. Not a flame, you may have perfectly good reasons and even lack of free time can be one of them (maybe the one that I would understand the most...).

I do understand that you want Autotest to lead on the introduction of innovations, but it is too little used for this to be possible.


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